Every year our town has a large, professional fireworks display for Bonfire Night. It happens in our town park, and whilst you can see the fireworks for miles around, the best views are from inside the park. Last year we took both kids to the park, armed with ear defenders, and they both loved it. The geekson reclined in his pushchair and gazed in awe at the lights and colours, and the geekdaughter sat on her father’s shoulders and watched everything. Sadly, our experience this year was not the same…
We had some friends staying with us with their one-year-old son. I had explained we’d like to go to the firework display and I was sure he’d be fine too with some ear protection. On Saturday night we all wrapped up nice and warm and headed off to the park. The one thing I remembered from last year was that we’d managed to turn up just before the fireworks started, and there were a few little rides in the park that the geekdaughter had wanted to go on. SHe hadn’t been very happy when we’d dragged her away from them, and it caused a certain amount of upset (quickly forgotten when the fireworks started). So my plan this year was to turn up a little bit earlier, give the kids a chance to have a few rides, watch the fireworks and come home for bed.
That’s where it all went wrong really. I thought I had read somewhere that the event was from 5-7pm, so I was expecting the fireworks to start somewhere around 6.30pm. We arrived at about quarter to six to discover the fireworks weren’t actually going to kick off until quarter past seven. So we had three kids to entertain for an hour and a half. There was a single roundabout, which the kids all leapt on straight away, and one of those giant inflatable slide things that the geekdaughter wanted to go on. Of course the minute he saw his sister heading off up that thing, the geekson started crying that he wanted a go too. He just wants to do whatever his sister does, and was not at all impressed with me keeping him in the pushchair! We finally ended up in the kids’ play area of the park, playing on the climbing frame and the swings in the dark. Oh, and it had rained earlier so everything was wet.
Time crawled. The kids were getting tired and fractious. And cold. We had another two goes on the roundabout, just for something to do. Finally the time came, and the fireworks began. And it all went a little bit pear-shaped. The geekdaughter refused to have her ear defenders on, and then spent the entire display crying because she was scared our house might burn down. The geekson had his ear defenders on, but cried anyway. When he started putting his hands over his eyes I realised that it was all just a bit much for him. I managed to calm him down by putting the pushchair hood up, turning him to face away from the fireworks and feeding him half my cheeseburger!
Unfortunately our friends’ son was also not happy with the fireworks, so he spent most of the display hiding at the back of the park with his Mum.
Next year I think we’ll just stand at the end of our road and watch the fireworks from there – it’ll cost less and we can at least go inside if the kids don’t like it.
This blog post is also available in “enhanced audio” format. You can listen in the player below, or if you head over to my audioboo page you can listen to all my audio blog posts and subscribe to hear future audio updates.